Archive for the 'On Track Thursdays' Category

School Year End – Be Prepared

Right now your children are busy with Track & Field and many other outdoor activities at school (that is if they haven’t been rained out), but next month is filled with end of the year recitals, awards ceremonies, class parties and for some, graduations.
 
Why not get organized for that now?  Will you be expected to bring in a year end treat?  Make sure while your shopping to grab cake mix, icing and sprinkles! 

Why not change things up and make a teacher gift instead of buying one?  Just Google Easy To Make Teacher’s Gifts or Homemade Teacher’s Gifts, but make sure to get all the supplies for it now so you’re prepared to tackle the task. 

Are you attending any year end assemblies/talent shows?  Make sure you have fresh batteries for your camera. 

Will you be volunteering for a play day?  Stock up on sunscreen and bug repellant. 

Do you have a child that is graduating?  Shopping for the perfect outfit now will leave time for haircuts before the big event next month. 

These tasks by themselves seem small, but if you have children in different grades you might have all of these activities on your plate.  Taking care of the prep work will ease the year end craziness and leave you lots of time to bake those 3 dozen cupcakes.
 
Have a great summer!

Lisa is a Mother to one son.  Co-Host of MeFest, Half of @Those2Girls & a lover of all things Facebook & Twitter.

Mother’s Day

A few weeks ago I asked Moms what would be they BEST gift they could get for Mother’s Day.
 
The answers were not items you could get a mall, greeting card store or a florist.  They weren’t gifts at all.
 
The majority asked for

  • A few more hours of sleep
  • To spend the day with their family
  • No rushing
  • Happy Faces all around

This can all be accomplished by planning ahead for this weekend.

  • Find an activity everyone will enjoy.  It could be mini golf, visiting a museum, going to the park (if you are planning an outdoor activity make sure to check the forecast)
  • Tell your family this activity is what you want to do this Sunday, but they all have to pitch inorder to make it happen
  • Get alll the chores done between now and Saturday (remind the family if they want to go do something Sunday they have to help now)
  • GO TO BED EARLY SATURDAY NIGHT.  Most think they can only get a few extra hours of rest by sleeping in, but why not grab those extra snooze hours the night before?
  • Sunday morning wake up refreshed and excited to have a day of fun fun fun for everyone!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Lisa is a Mother to one son.  Co-Host of MeFest, Half of @Those2Girls & a lover of all things Facebook & Twitter.

image credit: stock.xchng

Add to your schedule: Do nothing

Some months are very full.  Most say it’s around the holidays, but for me it happens every spring.  I say that I hibernate during the winter.  Basically I go to work, hockey arenas, basic shopping and not much else. 

Once spring arrives I hit the road with gusto, which also leaves me with very little down time.  I swear this sudden change of pace shocks my body every year and if I’m not careful it will decide I’m staying in whether I like it or not. 

The best way to avoid this worn-out transition is to SCHEDULE YOUR DOWN TIME.  I know it sounds odd, but it works.  I took a look at my Google Calendar and saw that last weeked was my only free weekend in all of April, so I planned for it.  I planned so I could do nothing.  Friday on my way home from work I stopped to stock up on groceries, came home, but them away and did nothing but sleep, eat, read and spend time online and sleep some more.  My car never left the driveway until Sunday afternoon.  The month is just going to keep getting busier, but I feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle the tasks at hand.

Take a look at your calendar.  Do you have a day where you can do nothing too? How do you plan for quiet time?

—-
Lisa
@those2girls

Summer Camp Already?

Although it feels like March Break just ended, now is the best time to start exploring your Summer Camp options.  Chances are whatever activity your child enjoys most has been transformed into a Day Camp.  Sports, Science, Art, Chess, Music, Computer are just a few of the varieties of Day Camps available to kids these days.  Maybe your child wants to try a new activity.  A week long Day Camp is a great trial run!  When choosing your Day Camps now you have best choice of weeks available and camps will reward you with an Early Booking Discount. 

Not sure to find a list of available Day Camps? Check out these resources:
 City/Town/Municipality’s website
 Local Library
 Community Centre
 Area Leisure Guide
 Arenas
 Community Pools
 Local Tourist Attraction

Doing an online search for the type of activity followed by Day Camp & the area in the search field.
The best way to find out about reputable Day Camps is to ask parents of older children where their kids enjoyed attending Day Camp.
So relieve yourself of the last minute camp scramble and save some dollars at the same time.  The perfect camp is closer than you think!

Image credit: stock.xchng

Lisa is a Mother to one son.  Co-Host of MeFest, Half of @Those2Girls & a lover of all things Facebook & Twitter.

Planning early, shopping early

Right now it’s the last thing on your mind, but make it your  first: Christmas Shopping!  
I know it sounds weird, but this is the best time of the year to get it done.  I’m not talking about deals on wrapping paper or ornaments.  I mean the good stuff, and by that I mean CHRISTMAS GIFTS.  
Right now all the stores are clearing out their winter items to make room for their spring merchandise.
This means big savings for you!  Coats and sweaters that were $25 and up can be bought for $9.99 or less to make room for sundresses and shorts.  (Parents, this is also a good time to buy snow suits for the kids for next year!) Mitts, boots, wool scarves and hats are clearance priced so sunglasses and flip flops can invade the shelves.  This is not only true for clothing stores.  You can find great deals at department, reno and decorating stores.  They will be marking down shovels, scrapers, and winter decor to make room for bbqs, garden centres and outdoor furnishings.   

So while your out getting some great deals for yourself don’t forget to think about who’s on your Christmas list and have one less thing to do after Halloween.  

Are you a person who likes to shop year round to find the best savings or do you wait until you have to buy something?

Getting Organized: Avoiding the Tax Scramble

Right now, you might be starting the TAX SCRAMBLE and be thinking to yourself:

  • Where’s that slip with my E-File number?
  • I  hope none of my RRSP slips ended up in the recycle bin
  • Where did that tuition receipt for figure skating/soccer/fencing end up?
  • I’m pretty sure I have all my gas receipts in my glove box

Well after you get that all sorted out, do yourself a favour and start getting ready for the following year’s tax season.
Get a file folder/binder/snap case or whatever will be more functional for you, and label it ‘2011 Taxes
Receipts and donation slips’
.  As they come to you throughout the year, put them in your file of choice.  Once 2012 rolls around and you start in on your taxes for 2011, you can take the TAX SCRAMBLE out of the equation, which makes all the calculating a whole lot easier!

*image credit: stock.xchng

Lisa is the Co-Host of MeFest, Half of @Those2Girls & a lover of all things Facebook & Twitter.  When not running to work, the grocery store, hockey practice etc she doesn’t like to waste her fun time doing tedious tasks.  Let On Track Thursday help you find your ME Time & get you back to the FUN!

How are you using your E Reader?

Many people I know now own a Kobo Reader.  I haven’t played around with mine too much, but something made me give it a second chance.  Yesterday Author David Bach sent out a link to his new book Debt Free For Life as a free Ebook.

Now I love free things, but do not enjoy reading a novel on my computer.  I sent out some posts on Facebook and Twitter wondering if Kobo now had the capability to download Ebooks.  One of my friends said that someone in her office treated it like an external hard drive and was able to download it.  Now that I knew it was possible, I had to figure it out.

The end result was SUCCESS!

Here are the steps I took

  • Have your Kobo connected to your computer. 
  • Go to this link
  • Select Save As, BUT don’t pick anything from the list
  • Select COMPUTER & a new window pops up
  • Select you’re KOBO port (in my case it was J)
  • Select OPEN-then at the bottom of the screen a save/download status bar shows up (then do whatever happens next-I cant recall)
  • Then go back & save it to your hard drive too just in case ;)

After it’s finished it should be listed on the front page of your Kobo under “I’m Reading”

*Note if your Kobo battery need charging (like mine did) the listing won’t show up until the Kobo has been disconnected after the battery has been revived.

Lisa is a Mother to one son.  Co-Host of MeFest, Half of @Those2Girls & a lover of all things Facebook & Twitter.

How will you recap 2010?

A lot of people are preparing their “recap of the year 2010″.  It might be for your blog, or perhaps a newsletter for family and friends or just something to reflect on.  The text part is always easy, but importing photos, resizing etc is a bit of pain and you don’t want people to keep scrolling down or having to print off several pages. 

 That’s where a collage comes in. 

There are lots of different programs to help you with that.  Google has a great one in Picasa that uses pictures you have saved on your hard drive.  Another way is to use the photos you have been tagged in on Facebook.  My Year In Photos app can be found here. It compiles several of your photos for you.  If you want to swap the photos that it compiled that’s easy to do as well.  When you are satisfied it will post it to your facebook profile.  Then click on the link so your collage is on it’s own page.  Next, right click the picture, then choose Save Picture As.  After it’s saved you can then easily access it on your hard drive browser to use in your 2010 recap post.

Getting Organized for the Holidays

Getting ready for the hustle and bustle of the holidays can make it a bit easier if you are prepared to be busy.
Knowing that you’ll be busy will give you that little extra push to get lots done before time runs out. Here’s a list of some things to get out of the way now before you have your kids home over the two week Christmas Break:

  1. Take your car for an oil change. It’s always good to get it done during a weather change. Depending on where you go they will also top up your windshield washer fluid and give your tires a little air if need be.
    If you don’t need an oil change make sure to grab some washer fluid and top your vehicle up.
  2. Go grocery shopping. Get lots of items that are grab and go, or stock up on some freezer meals that you can pop in the microwave quickly
  3. Get all of your haircuts now. You know there will be lots of pictures taken over the holidays
  4. Find the local skating schedules as a down time family activity (Free Tim Horton’s Skating in most areas).
  5. If you are planning on going skating, then make sure you know where the skates are and take them to get sharpened if needed.
  6. If you’re travelling make sure to pack chargers for phones, iPods, and hand held gaming devices
  7. Buy extra memory cards and batteries for your camera
  8. Check that all necessary items are in your vehicle’s emergency kit
  9. If you’ll be away make plans for someone to bring in your mail and clear your walkway

Even if you get a few of these items out of your way now, it will leave more time for sitting and sipping egg nog later.
Happy Holidays Everyone!

Lisa

Organize your beauty supplies, and do some good

Where do you keep your beauty products? Is it in a vanity? In the medicine cabinet? All over the bathroom? Chances are you have many products that you don’t use. Some of them may have been “on sale” purchases. You might have have received samples in the mail, or there’s items so far to the back of the cupboard you didn’t even know they were there.

Want an easy trick to keep it all under control? DONATE IT! Many Women’s Shelters are happy to receive your unwanted beauty products. Whether it be shampoo packets, lipstick testers, or disposable razors. As long as these products are still sealed, they are still useful.

The best way to tackle this task is to:

- take everything out of the cupboard (or off the tub, counter etc).

- wipe it down (chances are there is some sort of baby wipe, makeup remover wipe etc close at hand to make the job quick & easy)

 - sort the items into I NEED THIS and SOMEONE ELSE COULD REALLY USE THIS MORE

- put back the I NEED THIS ITEMS in a way that you can see all of it

- make sure to donate the SOMEONE ELSE COULD USE THIS MORE asap! Otherwise it will end up get shoved into another cupboard

 Feel great about what you accomplished and how much it helped others Not only will this keep your bathroom more organized, it will save you time when you’re getting ready (no search party for the tweezers required). Way to stay ON TRACK Everyone!

__________

Lisa

On Track Thursdays

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Candace also blogs for
the Yummy Mummy Club!